Why do we feel exhausted after hours /days / months now of videoconferencing? What is Zoom (or Teams) fatigue really?
Stanford University’s Jeremy Bailenson has some ideas worth considering. Some – not all – of the solutions to this problem are trivial design implementations that the big tech companies haven’t yet gotten around to.
Anyone who speaks for a living understands the intensity of being stared at for hours at a time. Even when speakers see virtual faces instead of real ones, research has shown that being stared at while speaking causes physiological arousal (Takac et al., 2019). But Zoom’s interface design constantly beams faces to everyone, regardless of who is speaking. From a perceptual standpoint, Zoom effectively transforms listeners into speakers and smothers everyone with eye gaze.